What does mania feel like? Well. Have you ever taken a mind altering substance? That.
** Content warning: adult language. **
Mania feels amazing.
It’s what I imagine ecstasy would feel like.
- lack of sleep
- loss of appetite
- freaking everyone around you out
- losing friendships
- general mayhem.
The side effects are definitely not worth the high.
But, the great feeling is part of why it is so hard for people in the middle of an episode to see something is wrong.
When you feel so euphoric for a long stretch of time you don’t want to believe anything is wrong. And you don’t want to give up that feeling. It becomes your new normal that you feel like you can’t live without.
One of the women I met during my second stay was talking about the incident that led her to being in the hospital and she said “the more excited I got, the more scared they looked”. That is a pretty succinct way to describe the difference between how the manic person perceives the situation and how everyone else sees it.
She was so sad when she said it.
I didn’t ask but I suspected it was because, like me, she feels most like herself whenever she is in the middle of an episode.
Knowing you are making people around you feel uncomfortable/afraid is gut wrenching.
It’s like they are reacting to a basic part of you that is unacceptable.
During a baseline time it’s obvious those people are just concerned for you and want you to get help.
But during an episode you don’t feel like you need help. You just want acceptance and for everyone else to be as passionate as you are.
They never will be though.
Because they don’t have a chemical imbalance.
Correction: they don’t have to take their brain chemicals in pill form, they are fortunate enough to manufacture them correctly within their own bodies.
Checkout out the audio version of this on my Spotify “Podcast”: Mania: What Does Mania Feel Like?